When I created our list of favorite Christmas song books some of you noticed that I left out The Twelve Days of Christmas. There are so many lovely and fun versions of this song that I wanted to share them all in their own collection. Some of the books below are from our own collection. Others are favorites we get from the library, and others are on our wish list.
More Resources for Little Book Lovers
The best way to encourage a love of reading is to provide kids with many opportunities to engage with a wide variety of books that are of interest to them. That’s why we share so many books lists on Fantastic Fun and Learning. We want to make it easy for you to find great books your kids will love. Over the years we’ve also discovered some helpful tools for connecting kids and books.
Digital libraries are one very handy way to do this. Epic! is one of our favorite online libraries. It’s full of over 25,000 books, learning videos, quizzes and more for kids 12 and under…and it’s free for educators. Click here to learn more and sign up.
Book Boxes are another fun way to get kids excited about reading. What kid doesn’t love to get a special delivery in the mail?! The crew over at Bookroo finds the best little known books that you won’t already have in your library, and they send them to you each month. Take a peak inside a Bookroo Box here.
Book-Based Activities are also a lot of fun for kids. Jodie over at Growing Book by Book has saved us all a ton of time and created a full year of Book-Based Activity Calendars so that you can extend the fun with a special book each week.
Aside from the benefits children get from reading and listening to song books, many of these books have a geographical or cultural element that make them wonderful for incorporating a little learning into your holiday activities. Others are just plain fun to read together.
I hope you enjoy the list! If you know of a great version that I forgot, please let readers know in the comments.
The Traditional Versions
There are many many picture books that include the traditional version of the song. I am only including a couple that we have come across, but I would love to know of your favorites, too.
Lovey especially enjoys the illustrations in The Twelve Days of Christmas by Jane Ray. She will sit and look at the pictures long after we are done singing.
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Jan Brett has been a particular favorite this year because it ties in very well with our forest theme. It includes many forest animals that we can discuss, and the kids have been very excited to make some connections to our other learning activities.
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Laurel Long is another version with exceptional illustrations. There is also a short history of the song that is great for learning a little bit more.
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Dan Andreasen is a more playful version. The girls enjoyed seeing the silly animal characters, and we had fun talking about how their actions go along with the lyrics of the song even though they may be a little different from the original intent of the song, thus the silliness.
Variations of the Song
We had fun practicing our Spanish as we read A Pinata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas by Pat Mora Lovey also enjoyed the surprise ending in this version. The brief description of holiday foods and traditions went along well with our ongoing discussion of Christmas around the world.
I knew A Stork in a Baobab Tree: An African 12 Days of Christmas by Catherine House would be a hit the second I saw it on our library list. Our first unit of this school year was about Africa, and it has really stuck with the kids. There is a lot of cultural detail in this book that could be expanded on to include a lot of extra learning for older children, but even young kids can enjoy the familiar tune and learn about some of the details.
If you have been learning about the states this year, this whole Twelve Days of Christmas in America series might be fun to read (if you have access to copies). Otherwise you might just like to read a version about a state that is important to you. We received The Twelve Days of Christmas in Minnesota (The Twelve Days of Christmas in America) from the girls’ grandparents in Minnesota, and it has been fun to talk about some of the things that are unique to Minnesota. Aside from the song, there is a letter from a little girl visiting her cousins in Minnesota to go along with each page. It adds another great layer to the story and introduces many more facts about the state. The last pages of the book include even more key facts about the state. I love that this is a book we enjoy and will get a lot of use out of as the girls are ready to learn more.
Numbah One Day of Christmas: The Hawaii Version of the “12 Days of Christmas” by Gordon N. Phelps is fun to read, but it takes a little practice to read/sing. We laughed a lot as we tried to sing it. The song is also available for download on Amazon, but we tried our best on our own.
Native American Twelve Days of Christmas by Gary Robinson is another version that can be used over and over again to sing and to learn as my kids get older. After learning a bit about Native American for Thanksgiving, I thought this would be a great way to get an even better understanding. The book includes traditions and customs from twelve different Native American tribes throughout North America.
A Pirate’s Twelve Days of Christmas by Philip Yates is just a really cute version to enjoy with the pirate fans in your life.
Hands-On Holidays eBook-Get even more inspiration for your advent calendar.
Less stress, more connecting this holiday season? Yes, PLEASE!
From the arrival of fall to Halloween to Thanksgiving and Christmas, the last four months of the year can be a wonderful opportunity for making family memories and spending time together, but they can also be stressful as we try to collect ideas, recipes, and activities to try together.
Stephanie Morgan, founder of Modern Parents Messy Kids, a site that’s been voted Best Craft Blog in Parents Magazine and one of babble.com’s Top 50 Craft Mom Blogs, recently released a new eBook to help us have a little less stress and more time to connect with family this year.
Stephanie’s goal is to make it easier on all of us to enjoy the holidays with our kids. Hands-On Holidays is 100 pages full of her family’s very favorite ways to connect as a family over the holiday season. I love the convenience of having so many ideas in one place, and most of them are simple enough for even my toddler to participate in.
The book includes picture book suggestions, DIY decor, activities, and treats. Bonus sections also offer even more ideas to enjoy. Click here to view more details.
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